Monday, July 04, 2005

Yooper Trameas

The last week of June found me in Delta County with my wife and daughter, and for the fisrt few days we camped at a state forest campground at Portage Bay, which is on the opposite side of the Garden Peninsula from Fayette State Park. The area is primarily a shallow soil layer over dolomitic limestone -- part of the Niagara Escarpment, which is much more obvious on the eastern end of the UP near St. Ignace.

We have camped here before, but always later in the season. Dog ticks (Dermacentor variabilis) were common, and I for one, don't especially like them crawling on me. Therefore, if I wear shorts I can feel the little bastards crawling on my skin before they get higher up. We did capture about a dozen species of Odonata in areas along the lakeshore (Amphiagrion saucium), and along the roadsides, but our best luck was at a small pond I had visited before. Lots of Leucorrhinias, Enallagma, an Anax junius, Ladona julia (which was dirt common up there), Libellula pulchella, and L. quadrimaculata. Then, a Tramea lacerata came zooming by, and I watched him for several minutes. He buzzed the pond a few times and then flew off and lit on a small shrub. I very calmly walked up to him and snagged him with a swipe of my net. Trameas are obviously not year-round residents here, but they do migrate to the UP and probably successfully hatch a brood that emerges in late summer and flies southward. Just like me, they are temporary visitors to a beautiful part of Michigan.

One species I would love to fnd in Delta County would be Hine's Emerald. Not all that far as the gull flies from the Door Peninsula of Wisconsin, and the limestone bedrock is necessary for this species. One thing that's missing is a fen, but perhaps some searching will reveal some decent habitat.

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